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A Few Misunderstandings

Remember that game telephone? Where there is a group of people and the first person whispers a phrase or word in the next person’s ear? They pass it on and then they pass it on and the last person says the word or phrase? Except the word or phrase has changed dramatically because of the thing that happens when people who are different in perception and nature interpret something. So the word starts off as “kite” but ends up as “bus” and everyone is looking at each other side-eyed trying to figure out where the breakdown happened. I mean how do you get bus from kite? They don’t even have a similar vowel. Anyways I bring this up because it seems like my life is lot like this game these days. Only it’s a lot more annoying to be misunderstood or misheard or misperceived in real life. Because in real life misunderstandings cause broken relationships, career hindrances and a lot of other more serious consequences.


One of the benefits of being in a community of people who have known you for some time (or even know you by the spirit for a short time) is that they know you. That means they know your sense of humor, they know your intentions, they know your character. But if someone doesn’t know you then one unassuming sentence can be mistaken as an insult or an attitude. And that can be pretty hurtful if that is not your personality. I think misperceptions of others can happen so easily and they probably happen all the time with strangers. We judge and watch and go about our way having an opinion on someone who didn’t chastise their screaming child in public who was throwing a tantrum (or maybe this is just me?) or a couple who is making out in public with no shame. We sum up people as a whole based on one incident or a few short interactions and think we have them down but our judgment is based on past experience of others who may look like them, sound like them or think like them, not necessarily on them. We live off stereotypes and repeat the distorted truth of those stereotypes in the secrecy of our thoughts or the boldness of our lips.

I was frustrated that I was misunderstood. I was hurt and I was angry. Thankfully I received peace when someone who knew me (a few someone’s actually) was able to say, “Nicole, that’s not you”. These people knew my character, they knew my ways, and they knew my intent. I was blessed when my friend was able to read what I had written the way I intended it to be read. It is an affirming thing for a writer when the reader gets what the writer is saying. But I was reminded that even when those who do know me, who I do love and who I do look up to, misunderstood my intent, well I was reminded that they too are fallen. They too are human. They too miss the mark.

But there is One who knows me through and through. He knows my ways and He knows my heart. He knows my intentions and He knows my thoughts. 

There is no misunderstanding with Him. When you say “kite” He hears “kite”. And when you say “bus” He hears “bus”. And that truth gave me great comfort when I felt disheartened from being misunderstood.

Psalm 139…

Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.

SHALOM

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New Job, New Book, New Seasons!

I was told good things come in 3’s.  I’m not a superstitious person however I know that there are patterns and ways of God that we can become awakened to.  Our change in the seasons in nature are an indication of that.

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That being said, if such a thing exists then I am a recipient of the “3-rule blessing”. My first week at work went well.  For three workdays in a row my employer treated me to lunch.  The first day was actually with my former employer who will now be my current employer part time since I’m still helping him with his business.  Someone tell me how you go from 0 to 4 jobs in one year???  Only God.  Training is just what I needed too.  I have had so many insecurities and fears concerning this calling in accounting.  My undergrad experience was pretty shocking and I think my accounting prof would think it laughable I am actually considering my CPA.  But God is our weakness where we are strong.  He definitely has been my strength in this area…

It turns out I had nothing to fear as my Controller took his time training me and I was even able to help him in some areas.  The overall feel of this position is one of “chill”.  The atmosphere is void of the stress and anxiety my previous employers carried.  The anxiety that I too previously carried…Maybe it is a prophetic picture. I can rest now.

So I’ve been worried for nothing (as is always the case).  It is like the Father is holding my hand and walking me through the steps it takes to get to where We are going.  I am overwhelmed with His good gifts to me in this season.  One of those gifts is my new book How To Overcome Heartbreak: Stories That Heal.  This book took me exactly 9 months to begin and publish.  Earlier this year He gave me a dream showing me pregnant with a very large child.  He showed me it would be an easy delivery.  It was…

I never imagined I would be an author.  That I would write about very personal things.  That the place that used to be my hiding place as a child–the library–would now find my own writings in its aisles and on its shelves. I am in awe.

I was told more books would come and there would be a demand for them.  I was told they would come without sorrow.  I desire that.  To not have to go through very hard things in order to write.  I look forward to this next chapter of my life, which consists of my new accounting position, this new book, and a new grace…

To find out more about my new book How To Overcome Heartbreak: Stories That Heal click here.

Some really good times lately…

SHALOM

 

I Choose “YES” 


I stood in the conference room with the phone pressed against my ear, almost breathless at the words that were being shared by the person on its other end. She was asking if I would accept their offer. I was in disbelief. After 4+ years, numerous  job applications submitted and several interviews, was the door finally opening? And more importantly was I “allowed” to walk through it? In a split second I thought about God’s word to me in this season, how people keep telling me He will be like a parent. When a parent has a child they will make decisions for them that they know the child is too immature to make. It is the parent’s job to nurture and protect and give the child the best outcome. That is how so much of my journey has been. When it came to big decisions such as jobs, living arrangements and relationships God made it very clear what choice He had in mind, and it was my job to submit to that choice. I had gotten in such a rhythm of submitting that I created false instances for me to practice this art. I made up scenarious thinking God was saying “no” when in fact He was saying, “It’s your choice”.

That was what my sisters told me a month ago when I shared my concerns about my current position. I assumed I had to ride it out til the end like so many times before. On 2 separate occassions without either of them knowing it their response was the same: “Nicole, what if its your choice?” I thought about that for a while. From my perspective it had never been my choice. If it was now than my response to God was, “Then prove it”.

And He did.

I heard myself respond to the HR lady on the phone. I heard myself say 3 letters which sounded so foreign to my own ears because I was so used to saying “No”.

“Yes. Yes, I accept your offer!” We both rejoiced at this new opportunity for me to be further groomed in my career and for me to add value to their company. It was a win win.

After that the week flew by. My boss took me out to lunch as a farewell treat, I tidied up the loose ends I was working on and packed up my remains. We have an agreement and I will still work for him part time. Business is slow so he simply does not need me more than that.

Looking back on this last year I can see God’s hand on my life very clearly. It has been exactly 12 months since my layoff and now I will have a more stable job situation. Even though the path was so unorthodox, it was Him. I never went without. My bills were always paid. I always had food. And I even had extra for social engagements. He gets all the glory.

I believe He used this time to heal some of my thought patterns and wean me from codependency with Him. It still feels very uncomfortable to say “yes” after 14 years of saying “no” but I am learning how to overcome fear in this season.

I’ve heard it said being courageous is not the absence of fear but choosing to move forward in spite of it. Well if it’s my choice than I choose to be brave.

I choose “yes”.

The Tree of Life

I am sitting here alone at the office with a ruler in my hand and a bank report laid before me.  I enter the figures in the excel spreadsheet and find satisfaction in each line completed.  Over and over my skill is confirmed.  I was made for this.  I think back on the years of complacency.  I think back to the stretching and yielding and waiting.  All for this.  An open door I couldn’t have foreseen if I tried, regardless of the prophetic gift inside me.

I have the luxury to sip a great cup of coffee while talking to my bestie on my cell.  I have that luxury because in this season, along with professional growth and skill enhancement, there is autonomy.  I think back to the season before where I was micromanaged and nit picked for no good reason.  Everything inside of me screamed, “I am a good associate!  Why don’t you treat me as such?  Why do you provoke me?!”  but by the leading of the Holy Spirit I suppressed the scream inside and instead released it as a prayer.  Released it as intercession for the very one provoking me.  I did this for days, then months, then years.  And there were glimpses of eternity in our conversations, this man that I prayed for daily.  But the real change was within me.  I was changing.  Again.

I sit here and know that this is my reward.  It didn’t come the way I thought it would, the way I felt it should, but it was tailor made for me.

I am so blessed to be growing professionally.  To finally have this desire met after 3 long years of waiting.  Of yearning.  I am so blessed to be mentored in the art of entrepreneurship.  I am so blessed to be using my gifts and talents which confirm all that was stirring in my heart all those years.

I have purpose.

But I had to find my purpose internally.  I had to find that I was not made by a title or a job or a position.  The position comes as a reflection of who we already are.  And the Father skillfully, carefully, molds and shapes us in preparation for the gift.

There is no sweeter satisfaction than when hope is finally fulfilled.  And it is now fulfilled.

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

If you would like to check out my recent YouTube video on the topic of contentment click here.

SHALOM

 

These Things Take Time

As many of you know I finally have an open door in my career (hallelujiah). That open door did not look at ALL the way I expected it to and yet it still met so many desires of my heart! For years I wondered about my calling in business, particularly Accounting. My past is laced with insecurity, doubt and even trauma when it comes to crunching numbers 😫. It took a huge leap of faith for me to get an advanced degree in this field but leap I did! As a result I fully expected the outcome to be an overflow! I fully expected the doors to FLY open with promotions and financial reward! Instead they were firmly shut (womp womp).

For 3 years. 

3 long years. And in their place was humility, and waiting, and grace. A lot of grace. But also in their place was a blog—this blog to be exact! And, oh yeah, a book. 

This book to be exact!😉 So looking back I can see the intent and why God (once again) wanted me to wait. I can see His hand weaving and working and creating a story where the protagonist doesn’t soar her way to the top. Instead she slowly, painfully, relies on Him to get her there.

These last 3 months I have worked long and hard to get my boss’ books together. It has been a tedious task and yet I have loved every minute of it because I was FINALLY getting the experience I craved. But that goal of reconciling the numbers was ever before me and even seemed distant at times. Then all of a sudden yesterday, I reached it. It happened so quietly that I almost missed it! I had to say, “Nicole, you’re there. This is it!” 

My boss shared this week he was hoping to have this done sooner and I too agreed. But in our discussion I realized that some things take time. They take time because of the work involved. When things are underdeveloped or overlooked the one in charge has to work hard to get them together.

God is working hard on me. On us. There are areas of our lives we have been ignorant of but He has seen it all, and He has set out to complete that work, no matter how long it takes!

And when He does there will be a sweet satisfaction in knowing you endured the process and that you made it through exactly the way He wanted you to!  Not necessarily the way you envisioned–but the way He did.

This is me working on my new book project!  
SHALOM

This New Season

He comes over to my desk and updates me on things to do. I realize quickly I need to take notes but there isn’t time so I take notes in my head. I think about waitresses and how you know the really good ones are the ones who don’t need to write anything down. I focus intently on his words concentrating with all my mental capacity to be equivalent to one of those stellar waitresses. It must work because I successfully remember all the important things.

Afterward I ask about his meeting yesterday. He was out of the office all day at a work conference. His eyes light up as he discusses the agenda and what he took away from it. He is the visionary functiong in his identity. I am the administrator come to help bring the vision to pass.

He says he learned about branding and that each of us, the 3 current employees of the company, will be developing our individual brand. I love it. Once again I am reminded of how there is opportunity for growth here. The package this blessing has come in really caught me off guard and even some of the grunt work that first week was difficult to deal with, but now we are getting somewhere.

All week I have poured over numbers, diligently working to get things in order and catch him up for the last 3 years. This week I have been in my element.  It is slowly coming together.  There have been days I have been in the office all by my lonesome, there is so much autonomy and freedom. A far cry from the office gossip and micro-managing I was under. Even when I am not alone in the office each person is so busy studying their own project, no one is paying attention to me. It is a place of rest. It is a place of recovery and healing.

I have battled and warred in this season. The war has been within me but God has kindly and graciously kept me from losing my sanity. He has opened doors unexpected and is teaching me wholeness in a way I didn’t know existed.  A way I didnt know that I needed.  Mental health is so needed.

Each night I leave that he is still there working he thanks me. As if he isn’t paying me to do this job. As if I don’t need him just as much as he needs me. It is just his heart.

So humble and kind. I have never before experienced such leadership.

I am being restored.

SHALOM

Downtown Girl

She wakes up in the morning to sunshine. Of course there’s sunshine, it’s her first official day of work! It’s going to be a great day!

She selects a pencil skirt, top and scarf. Today she puts on her flats and carries her heels in a bag. She learned her lesson at orientation yesterday; flats are vital for walking downtown. Although she is only a 10 minute drive from work she forgot to factor in rush hour traffic. Apparently everyone works downtown!

 But the 20 minute delay does not deter her. It only makes her feel apart of the hustle and bustle of this city she has grown to love ❤️.  She makes it to the parking lot and successfully uses her badge to swipe in. She remembers to take the backway into the office building and types in the code correctly the first time. Of course she does, because it’s going to be a great day! She takes the elevator and uses the key to the office only to find its already unlocked. Her boss had his meeting moved and he was there after all. They greet and smile and all is pleasant. She sets into her desk and quickly a load of files are laid out to be sorted. After 4 hours they are still in need of sorting.

 She chooses a local market from lunch and enjoys the short walk up the street. A salad, chips and snacks for later find their way into her hand. She is surrounded by suits and skirts; other downtown people who have the privilege of working in swanky offices and well to do atmospheres. Her atmosphere may not be as wealthy but it is surely blessed. In many ways it is the desire of her heart. It is the Father opening an unexpected door.

The rest of the day is productive and the job is taking shape. She is needed. Her gifts and talents are adding to the betterment of this business and as with all her other jobs there is purpose here.

It is a relaxing atmosphere and very flexible. She is taken care of and looked out for once again.

She is loved.

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In other news, I am now available for speaking engagements!! Book me 😉

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Also my friends and I were featured in Essence Magazine! Click here and make sure to check out #12 😆.

SHALOM